Taubman_10_aerial view

An aerial image of the Taubman Museum of Art.

The Taubman Museum of Art honored two longtime supporters of Roanoke arts at its annual Women’s Luncheon earlier this month.

The Ann Fralin Award, which honors women for their contributions to the arts and arts education, went to museum benefactor and former board trustee Judy Tenzer.

Tenzer and her husband, Joel, moved to Roanoke in 1971 when he became manager of manufacturing at the General Electric plant in Salem. When he retired in 1990, he was a vice president in charge of General Electric Drive Systems.

Judy Tenzer joined the museum board in 1986, when it was the Roanoke Museum of Fine Arts, renamed the Art Museum of Western Virginia soon after. In 1990, she served as founding president of the museum’s Collectors Circle, which acquired works for the museum’s permanent collection by the likes of Romare Bearden, Jasper Johns, Robert Motherwell and Robert Rauschenberg. She also amassed a personal collection of forwork by regional artists.

She has served on the boards of the Arts Council of the Blue Ridge and, most recently, Mill Mountain Theatre.

The Sheila S. Strauss Art Venture Award went to Yvonne Olson, who has been a volunteer for the museum since its days as the Art Museum of Western Virginia. Among her many roles she has hadat the museum, she has for years coordinated the museum’s signature outdoor event, the Sidewalk Art Show. At present, she trains new volunteers and edits “Volunteer Voices,” a monthly electronic newsletter for Taubman volunteers.

She held executive positions in retirement communities in Alexandria and Lynchburg before she and her husband, Charlie Hall, moved to Roanoke in 1992, where she became development director for the Arts Council of the Blue Ridge. These days, she also volunteers with Mill Mountain Theatre and the Roanoke Women’s Foundation.

Mike Allen covers government happenings in Franklin County and Botetourt County for The Roanoke Times and also writes the weekly Arts & Extras column.

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